Reps decry non-release of N64bn fuel levy to FERMA
• Tackle minister on federal roads in states
The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, expressed grave concern over Federal Government’s refusal to release total sum of N64 billion accrued from the fuel levy for road maintenance through Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA).
Chairman of the House Committee on FERMA, Hon Olufemi Bamisile who stated this at the inaugural sitting of the Committee in Abuja, also tackled the Federal Government over its unilateral decision not to pay the money spent by State Governments for the rehabilitation of federal roads across the country
He stated that the N64bn was meant to come from a percentage of Petroleum products sale across the country in which certain percentage would go into a fund dedicated for road maintenance.
“As a Committee, I want us to think out of the box on how we can assist FERMA to access this fund as soon as we get proper briefing from the Managing Director on this issue, the money in question is huge and I believe it is trapped somewhere, our collective efforts is needed to get this fund out and released to FERMA to enable the Agency function properly.”
This came just as the Chairman of the Committee expressed displeasure over the statement credited to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola that federal government would not refund money spent by state governors to repair federal roads traversing such state.
According to the chairman, “the minister has indirectly told state governors not to repair federal roads in their states. the question is simple, does it mean that Nigerians will not get any value for the various taxes they pay? Does it mean that Nigerians will continue to be exposed to dangers associated with our roads littered with gullies and potholes?
” The questions are endless and this committee must address this issue so that we can give good governance to our constituents and Nigerian as a whole.
” I need to remind us that 99 per cent of Nigerians rely on road to get to their destinations within the country. Some Nigerians cannot afford to travel by air. Unfortunately, transportation by rail is limited at the moment because the only functional railway line is Abuja- Kaduna rail. Therefore we have a duty as a committee to ensure that our roads are safe and motorable”.
He, therefore, called on all members of the committee to put in their best to work towards fixing bad roads across the country as parts of dividends of democracy